TALKING FOOTBALL

2015-05-07 06:00

THE number of players representing KZN in the PSL and national teams have declined over the past few years. The midlands region in particular has not done well both in youth competitions and club football.

People should also remember that KZN is the biggest province in South Africa. Numbers on their own do not help if people are not doing the right things. Pietermaritzburg is represented only by five players in the professional league compared to over twenty five a few years back.

The lack of facilities is not helping the situation. I firmly believe that authorities are letting down the young people in our district. We have worse football facilities compared to the apartheid era. This is sad considering that the majority of footballers are young black boys and girls.

League matches are played on gravel fields. Why do municipalities find it difficult to prepare fields for weekend fixtures i.e. cut grass and mark the lines? We cannot talk service delivery and fail the young people on just simple things like marking the fields.

We have not promoted any team to the NFD in the past 15 years. The calendar of competitions is disadvantaging our clubs. Planning is non-existent. Football is played for four to five months. We lack the interest and the will to do the correct things.

SAB clubs have to play on a Saturday and Sunday. Do football authorities understand the implication of this to the health of our young people. Playing a single 90-minutes match in a weekend is a challenge in itself. Technically, this also has a lot of implications. It develops slow football and yet internationally intensity is critical.

Refereeing also needs some attention. I have been very impressed with most of the guys in our local SAB league. They do honest jobs although they can do with more and better training. It is important that cheating is removed out of KZN football. Bribing of referees does not help improve the game. Referees themselves should understand the implications of dishonesty in their careers. KZN does not have referees in the two top tiers of South African football. We also do not have people featuring in international competitions.

I would like to encourage those honest guys to carry on with their good work.Coaching itself need to improve if our young players are to reach international standards. Football, just like schooling, requires lots of dedication from all parties. It is unfortunate that currently South African children do not have proper support structures both at home and within communities.

We live in a society where the interests of adults come first.

We expect someone else to look after our children. Unzima lo mthwalo

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